Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If you die without a will in Texas

If you die without a will in the State of Texas, the legislature has determined how your estate will be divided.

Many people think that the State of Texas will "take" your property.  That is untrue. 

What is true is that the State of Texas has determined who will receive your property.

What I mean by property is "real property" -- also known as real estate. 

It's hard to "hide" real estate and property that has a "title" -- things like a boat or vehicle. 

Stuff like -- clothes, jewelry, papers, furniture, etc. can easily "disappear" -- just "vanish". 

If you have a properly written will in Texas, probate in Texas is easy and inexpensive.  I strongly urge you to hire a TX attorney to do your will. 

I don't like a will sold in an office supply store or on-line.  Many of the wills sold at these places are not prepared by TX attorneys. 

TX wills MUST be done just a certain way in order to be valid in TX in order to be probated so that they are easy and inexpensive. 

So why save $200 on a kit and spend $2,000 on probate?
That is penny-wise and pound-foolish. 
Do it right the first time!!

Horror story:
My friend's mom did a codicil (minor change) by hand and totally messed up up the will.  She wanted to leave my friend the bulk of the estate because he was the "good son"  & restrict his sister because she was a drug addict.   After mom died, the sister, ended up with everything and the "good son" ended up with nothing.   Mom's eye sight was poor and her minor change removed the son from the will and gave everything to the daughter -- oops!  Mom could have easily paid a lawyer to accomplish what she wanted.  Son did not even get his Dad's pocket watch! 

Are you a 2nd wife -- does your husband pay child support -- if so be afraid -- very afraid if he dies --

IF YOUR HUSBAND PAYS CHILD SUPPORT -- remember that his children by his previous marriage comes first!! 

READ HIS COURT ORDERED CHILD SUPPORT -- it clearly states that his child support obligation continues AFTER his death -- THAT MEANS THAT HIS ESTATE OWES THE MONEY after his death....



Do you have a will?

Do your relatives know if you want to be put on life support if you are in a horrible accident?

Don't wait -- act today!!


Elderly or sick family members

Do you have elderly or sick family members?

You need to talk to me

I charge $2 per minute to talk to you or to you and your family.

I might give you some peace of mind.






Consultation $2 a minute

I have been practicing law for almost 20 years.  I am over 55 years old.  I have led a colorful life.  I am a former business owner.  I've been married twice.  I am taking care of my elderly parents.  I like to think outside of the box.  I try to avoid going to court.

If you might have a potential problem, come see me.  Let's just talk for $2 per minute.  Within 30 - 90 minutes, perhaps I can help you.  Or, perhaps I can point you in the right direction.

I never got guardianship over my father.  I did things that avoided needing a guardianship over him.  I might be able to help you too. 

If you have aging parents or you are single, you need more than a will.  You don't just need a living will or a living trust.  You need to think outside the box.  Let me help you. 

Probate in Texas is not scary if you plan ahead!

Call me at 713-847-6000 or email me fran@familylaw4u.com

Adoption by another person

If you are over the age of 18, it is very easy to be ADOPTED by another person.

Many people that could not be formally adopted as children for some technicality can finally finish the process quickly, easily and CHEAPLY after they turn 18.

For some families that spent thousands of dollars and years of frustration, waiting until the child turns 18, is the answer to their prayers.

If the adoption process is not an option for your family, please consider doing it AFTER the child becomes an adult.

Most people have not be made aware of this option. 

This is one reason I offer a consultation for $2 a minute.  Often there are solutions that people just aren't aware of or never considered.

Call me for an appointment.

Changining a minor child's name

Changining a child's name requires the consent of BOTH parents. 

If both parents do NOT agree, most judges just won't do it.

It's just easier to wait until the child is 18, then the child (now considered an adult) can do it without anyone else's consent.  The adult needs to get a finger print card and fill out some paperwork.  If the person does NOT have a criminal record and is NOT avoiding creditors, it's easy.  Most judges are glad to do it. 

The biggest pain is to to the SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION office and then the TX Driver's License Office and get new identification. 

The person will need to get all things changed -- passport, credit cards, etc. 

It takes several weeks to get new id's issued.

Children having children

I had an interesting question the other day.

A 15 year old girl was pregnant.  The girl's father wanted to know who was going to have to pay for her maternity clothes and her hospital bills.

The obvious answer was -- her parents! 

The Texas legislature never anticipated minor children having children.  Our state laws just are not written for minors having babies.

Parents are responsible for the acts of their children.  

The odds are the father is also a minor and does not have the money to pay for her pregnancy expenses. 

In most cases, most people are not wealthy.  If the families have a lot of money, then 2 attorneys are going to get wealthy and having a lot of fun fighting in court by fighting in court by trying to prove to a judge in court which parent was more negligent by not watching their children and "allowing" these kids to get "too close" to reproduce! 

Of course, it won't be until AFTER the baby is born and DNA testing can be done to determine who the bio. daddy is and litigation can begin!  So the parents are going to have to save all the receipts and hope that the Judge will reimburse their expenses.  I've seen judges reimburse for prenatal vitamins.  I don't know if a judge will reimburse for the costs of "reasonable" maternity clothes.  And what would "reasonable" maternity clothes be? 

Of course, the costs to hire attorneys to fight all of this might exeed the out-of-pocket costs.

But, if the man is much older than the 15 year old girl, he might be charged with statutory rape and be looking at criminal charges...if so...he'll be in prison and a registered sex offender...so child support and reimbursement of pregnancy expenses will be the least of his problems.

After practicing law for almost 20 years, it never gets boring!

Why do so many 17 yr. olds want to leave home?

It seems that many 17 yr. olds want to move out of their parent's home!!  They are in a hurry to move in with their boyfriend's home.  It is rare that a boy wants to move in with his girl friend.

At 17 they are an adult for criminal purposes!  However, they are still a minor for civil purposes.  Landlord's don't want to rent to them.  No one wants to sign a contract (car loans) with them.

What they don't realize is that they cannot take their furniture and their stuff (cell phones, computers, games, etc.) with them when they leave.  Technically, their clothes, money, etc. belong to their parents.

The moment the clock strikes midnight on their birthday, they are an adult and they can leave their parent's home.  They can leave with the clothes on their back -- and they can take anything that they have received as a gift or inherited.  Everything else still belongs to their parents.

Of course, the moment they turn 18, their parents no longer have to support them -- with things like money, food, clothing, housing, soap, gasoline, electricity, cell phones, Toilet paper, water, etc.